Emerson Park Neighborhood Revitalization Plan

[ Contents ]

V. CRIME PREVENTION

Objective: Reduce the Incidence of Violent and Drug Related Crimes and Prostitution

"Why should our kids be surrounded by drug dealers?…it’s just not safe" – Resident, 2/98

Contents

Violence, drug trafficking and prostitution are major threats to the quality of life in Emerson Park. Thirty-nine percent of residents surveyed identified drugs, prostitution and related crimes as a major problem. At the Neighborhood Summit held in March 1998, residents stated that prostitution was a major concern for both them and their children. Resident perceptions are backed by State of Illinois crime statistics. Between 1996 and 1997, the city’s crime index increased by 5.3%. According to the Illinois State Police’s Violent Crimes Map for 1997, there are identifiable hot spots in the neighborhood. These include Central City Homes, Exchange Ave, Lake, 15th, and 13th Streets. The incidence of crime is a threat to the stability of the community, especially in the area of Central City Homes due to its close proximity to the new Metro Link station and the new development that will surround it. This problem needs to be addressed immediately. Prevention is the key to a successful crime reduction strategy.

Through the crime prevention initiatives set out in this plan, the main goal is to find an overall decrease in crime by the year 2003, and begin support programs for all those affected by crime in the neighborhood. The direct beneficiaries will be current Emerson Park residents, business owners, and institutional leaders, as it will improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. The new Metro Link stop is estimated to bring in thousands of people each day. These commuters will also benefit from a safer environment. Crime reduction will provide an incentive for growth in the area, and encourage people to move in, thereby increasing the economic base of the community. Programs within this initiative will target several key areas, including violent crimes, neighborhood defacement, community-police relations, youth-police relations, prostitution, and public safety infrastructure improvements. In addition to the programs developed by Emerson Park, the last pages of this section include a brief description of Police and Community Partnership Programs that are administered by the East St. Louis Police Department.

The following areas have been specifically identified by residents as sites of high crime, drug trafficking and/or prostitution:

Strategies

A. "Smoke-Out" Drug and Crime Corners

The "Smoke-Out" Drug and Crime Corners program will inform local law enforcement of the most dangerous and threatening areas of Emerson Park. Residents anonymously identify key sites in the neighborhood that are known to be heavy in crime, drugs and prostitution. Police officers receive coupons for hotdogs and hamburgers to be redeemed on a "Smoke-out" day. The coupons are sent to local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to spread the word about crime in Emerson Park. When police officers visit the neighborhood to redeem their free food items, they can stop at any of the barbecue grills that are set up on these crime corners. In return for a good meal, police are asked to frequent this corner and eliminate the criminal activities that occur there. The program will last until all problem sights in Emerson Park are effectively patrolled and eliminated by the City of East St. Louis Police Department. The program identifies problem areas, brings them to the attention of law enforcement, shows criminals that their behavior is not welcome at that sight, and brings residents together to stop crime.

This program enhances the city’s commitment to Community Oriented Policing by creating partnerships between residents who are affected by crime everyday and the people whose job it is to serve and protect the community. Community Oriented Policing is built on the premise that the Police Officers are much more efficient when they know what they are looking for, as opposed to driving aimlessly about hoping to stumble upon a criminal act or waiting to be called after the fact. Crime, drugs, and prostitution are eliminated when residents who have the information both know and trust the officers and are confident the officer will help and will act appropriately on the information. "Smoke-Out" days increase interaction between police and residents, promotes trust, raises awareness and send a loud message that criminal behavior is not accepted in Emerson Park.

Implementation Timeline: Year 1

This is an on-going program that can begin organizing at any time during year 1. The first "smoke-out" should occur during the first warm month, most likely in March. The project can last for as long as the neighborhood supports it and sees reductions in criminal activity.

Action Steps:

  1. On-going identification of current high crime areas.
  2. Residents can identify problem areas by:

    Maintain a crime map in the EPDC office that uses push-pins to identify high-crime areas.

  3. Select a team of 3 to 4 residents who will organize the "smoke-out" locations, food preparation, and distribute coupons to all law enforcement agencies each month.
  4. Select dates for 7 "Smoke-Out" days, one per month in spring, summer and fall.
  5. Select high-crime sites per "Smoke-Out" day based on reports by residents.
  6. Purchase or borrow 21 charcoal barbecue grills.
  7. Distribute coupons for barbecue food items to police officers and agencies at the city, county, state and federal level. These coupons invite law enforcement to a free community event and identify on the back of the coupon, where the coupons can be redeemed.
  8. Recruit a team of residents to staff each barbecue site.
  9. Purchase or get donated hotdogs, hamburgers, bread, condiments, and drinks.
  10. Invite all residents to participate in "smoke-out" days, meet their local police officers, and drive crime out of the city.
  11. When the police officers come to redeem their coupons, encourage them to patrol in car and by foot the very site they are standing on. Inform the officers that the barbecue is set up on these sites because the residents wish to "smoke-out" crime.
  12. Evaluate each "smoke-out" day on three criteria:
  13. If the program is successful, than the pushpins can be removed from the map (see step #1) and when all the pins are removed, Emerson Park is a healthier and more stable neighborhood.

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

Program expenses are mainly the cost of food and grills, mailing coupons, and printing informal invitations. The program organizing is done by resident volunteers. In year one, twenty-one grills will be purchased at $60 each and a corkboard for the map at $30. Charcoal, food, and drinks will be purchased seven times per year at an estimated cost of $60 per "smoke-out" day. It is anticipated that event invitations and food coupons will be sent to 50 law enforcement representatives each month (50*$0.32*7months).

Possible Funding Sources:

B. Crime Hotlines

Throughout the country toll-free phone numbers are available for residents to call in and report criminal activities. These numbers give residents the opportunity to report crime anonymously and at no cost to them. Many residents believe that when they call 911 their number is traced and thus, criminal retaliation is a huge concern. By law, calls placed to 911 emergency lines are traced. Currently, there are four hotline numbers that residents of Emerson Park can use free of charge to report suspicious behavior. When asked if they were aware of such services, most residents responded that they didn’t have the number or that they had misplaced it. This quick crime prevention strategy would place the four hotline numbers on a magnet. The four sources are:

These magnets could be distributed city-wide through the schools, local businesses, community organizations, major employers, and the Police Department. It is important to remember that the magnet’s effectiveness depends of the response rate of law enforcement and on the residents’ participation in the program. This is just one more small and inexpensive way of preventing crime if it is properly carried through.

Implementation Timeline: Year 1

Action Plan:

  1. Gain the permission and support of the four agencies with hotlines to create a magnet with the numbers on it. Ask the agency to help pay the cost of the magnets and to provide information on how that number works.
  2. Hold a design competition through the Youth Advisory Board to design the magnet in black and white ink (to keep costs down). The magnet should embody the goal of crime prevention in all of East St. Louis. All youth are eligible to participate. Set a deadline for when the entries are due.
  3. Select a winner. The EPDC board should pick the design that best pronounces the hot line numbers, stresses the importance of reporting suspicious activities and reflects the entire city.
  4. Reward the youth artist with a new art supply kit and a medal of honor.
  5. Locate a company that will print and cut magnets (Kinko’s can do this).
  6. Organize a neighborhood meeting with the East St. Louis Police Department, the County Sheriff Department, the U.S. Marshall Service, and the Illinois State Police. Make sure that a representative from each of those organizations can attend – their ongoing participation is crucial.
  7. Distribute magnets to all neighborhoods groups at the monthly ESLCAN meetings. Provide a flyer explaining how to use the numbers and the importance of reporting criminal activity. Provide the local schools with magnets for kids to send home to their parents.
  8. Ask the representatives of the four hotline sources to report back to the neighborhood how effective the magnet has been in terms of calls received and actions taken/
  9. Evaluate the usefulness of the magnet based on the following criteria:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

The only costs of the program are for magnets and copying flyers. Magnets are estimated at $0.25 (confirmed by local copy shop) each and the first order is likely to be around 5000. Copying costs are estimated at $200 per year. The budget assumes two orders in year 1 and two more in year 2. Subsequent years should require only one order of 5000 magnets each year.

Possible Funding Sources:

C. Expand "Red-Letter" Drug Enforcement Program to Include Prostitution

Currently, residents utilize the city’s "red-letter" drug enforcement program to notify law enforcement about suspected drug houses and dealing sites (see Appendix for current form). The process involves citizens anonymously completing forms that indicate the location of drug activity and the problems they are causing. Residents typically mail these postage-paid reply envelopes to the State’s Attorney’s office. Strategy C of the crime prevention program expands the "red-letter" program to include prostitution sites and also seeks to expand resident involvement in the program. This is a small budget program that could have a tremendous impact on crime prevention in Emerson Park.

Overall, residents like the "red-letter" drug enforcement program because it gives them the opportunity to document the problems as they witness them happening in the neighborhood. Residents also like that the program is anonymous and that if they report a drug site, there is little fear of criminal retaliation. There is some concern that the response rate is a bit slow and that by sending the "red-letter" to the State Attorney’s Office and not directly to the East St. Louis Police Department there is delay in addressing problems.

Prostitution is repeatedly identified as a major threat to Emerson Park. This expanded program will allow residents to inform law enforcement of building and streets that they suspect are home to prostitution. It also provides an avenue for residents to get involved in creating a safer neighborhood who do not currently have a telephone.

Implementation Timeline: Year 1 - 2

The expansion of the "red-letter" drug program can be expanded to include prostitution and involve more residents at any time, ideally in Year 1 or 2.

Action Steps:

  1. Add prostitution sites and information section to the "red-forms" that are provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  2. Inform residents that the program has been expanded to include prostitution sites. Block captains from the Neighborhood Watch program could go door-to-door distributing the "new" red forms and informing residents on how to fill out the forms and what information to include. Block captains should stress that the program is completely anonymous and that residents should fill out a form for every suspicious drug and prostitution area.
  3. Keep residents informed of "red-letter" progress. Ask representatives from the State’s Attorney’s office and the East St. Louis Police Department to attend monthly neighborhood meetings to let residents know how many "red-letters" they are receiving and in what time frame they are being addressed. Law enforcement can then also advice residents on how to more effectively identify problem areas.
  4. Distribute "red-letters" at all monthly meetings, make them available at Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and send them out in the monthly neighborhood newsletter.
  5. Evaluate the expanded "red-letter" program on three criteria:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

Program costs are limited to paper (10 reams at $3.00 per ream) and postage for mailing out letters that describe the new "red-letter" ($0.32*500). Spreading the word about the expanded "red-letter" program can be done by the block captains, other residents, and student volunteers from the University of Illinois.

Possible Funding Sources:

References:

1. U.S. Department of Justice [http://www.usdoj.gov/]

D. New Neighbor Orientation Program

This is a four-hour orientation program for new residents of Emerson Park. Many new faces will soon be occupying new public housing authority units, units in the Parsons Place development, new single-family homes created by the Neighborhood Based Family Housing Program and new homes developed by Community Development Consultants. Over 300 units of new housing are planned for Emerson Park. As these projects move forward the newcomers would actually outnumber the long-term residents. Efforts are needed to familiarize these families with the neighborhood. By introducing them to the community early, they can become comfortable in their new surroundings and find a way to become involved in preserving a peaceful community. Particular attention needs to be given to orienting them to local crime prevention activities, which are the key to the future stability of the neighborhood. This program seeks to orient newcomers to the neighborhood, teach them about it’s history, introduce them to the local retail, the Metro Link, and other areas of interest, educate them about local crime prevention techniques and home safety, as well as introduce them to the Emerson Park Development Corporation.

The program would be offered to future residents in the period of time following their move-in dates. This program could include the following elements:

Implementation Time Line: Year 1 - 2

The New Neighbor Orientation Program could be initiated as soon as possible and developed overtime. Activities in Year One can be limited to informal welcomes and invitations to neighborhood meetings. Over the years, the program can grow to include the elements listed above.

Action Steps:

  1. Form a Welcoming Commission comprised of local residents. This group is responsible for identifying new residents with the help of EPDC staff. The group is also responsible for organizing welcoming events.
  2. Develop a collection of information about the neighborhood, businesses, services, transportation and opportunities for getting involved in the neighborhood.
  3. Schedule dates for New Neighbor Orientation events, one every four months. Secure location for the event within the neighborhood.
  4. Develop the Homeowner and Renter Rights Guidebook with help from Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, the Neighborhood Law Office, Citizens for the Future, the East St. Louis Housing Authority and ESLARP law students.
  5. Solicit event funding and material costs from local development agencies that have built the new housing units.
  6. Invite city-wide agencies to participate in the Welcoming event.
  7. Invite first batch of new residents to an orientation.
  8. Organize events for children who are new to the neighborhood to orient them to the Youth Advisory Board.
  9. Prepare copies of all handouts, purchase food for the event, and make reminder phone calls to new residents.
  10. Evaluate the welcoming events:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

Costs for this program include food items, invitations and mailings for 3 orientations per year:

Additional costs include renting a van to conduct tours, $50 per day.

Possible Funding Sources:

E. Formal Neighborhood Watch Program

Although many neighborhood residents have lived in the area for years, and already watch out for each other, an official neighborhood watch program has yet to be implemented in the area. The "Red Letter" program began in 1993 and allows residents to report suspicious activity anonymously directly to the State’s Attorney’s office. This information is then processed at their office, and is finally dealt with at the local level, often weeks after the initial complaint. The introduction of an official Neighborhood Watch program would, in essence, remove the "middle man" from the crime prevention process, encouraging residents to watch out for each other, and allowing them to report criminal activity directly to those in charge of their safety in the community with a growing confidence that swift action will be taken. The program is national in scope, and has been in effect in several areas of the country since its inception in 1972. The National Sheriff’s Association sponsors the program nation wide, and provides information for communities interested in the program. They can also provide T-shirts, signs, and various other publicity paraphernalia.

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that enlists the active participation of citizens, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce residential crime. It means that neighbors get to know each other and work together in a program of mutual assistance. Citizens learn how to recognize and report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Watch program is about organizing the eyes and ears of an entire neighborhood into a powerful, hard to penetrate, 24 hour-a-day barrier... protecting the neighborhood. The program attempts to do the following:

It is a proven success story in communities nation wide. Several Illinois communities have significantly decreased crime after implementing Neighborhood Watch program. The program empowers residents, giving them a real sense of control over their community. Neighborhood Watch also instills a real sense of unity between residents, as they work together to keep their streets safe.

The Emerson Park Neighborhood Watch Initiative would be based primarily on the national program sponsored by the National Sheriff’s Association. More information can be found about the program at [http://www.sheriffs.org/crime_prevention.htm] or by contacting the Association at: 1450 Duke Street; Alexandria, Virginia 22314-3490. Phone number is 703-836-7827.

Implementation Timeline: Year 2

A kick-off meeting may be best suited for a spring or summer date at the beginning of Year 2.

Action Steps:

  1. Conduct a survey to gauge interest in the Neighborhood Watch program.
  2. Gather information about the program from the National Sheriff’s Association, including
  3. This information can then be presented at the public meeting.

  4. Flyer the entire neighborhood to introduce the program and invite everyone to the kick-off meeting.
  5. Invite all public officials to a resident meeting introducing the Neighborhood Watch Program. Publicize kick-off of the Neighborhood Watch Program through the media, churches, and city-wide organizations.
  6. Conduct first meeting at Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House. Distribute literature about the program to residents. Representatives from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and the East. St. Louis Police Department should be in attendance to answer any resident questions about the program. Encourage all meeting attendants to become involved in the Watch and in the other neighborhood group programs.
  7. Assign block captains for each street. These captains are responsible for encouraging neighbors to participate and for flyering their block about upcoming meetings.
  8. Train block captains in how to report crimes, how to recruit resident involvement, and to ensure personal safety. Representatives from the Sheriff’s Department, the East St. Louis Police Department and handbooks from the national organization can be utilized for training block captains.
  9. Order Neighborhood Watch materials from the National Sheriff’s Association for approximately 100 participants.
  10. Install Neighborhood Watch street signs on each block that is interested in participating in the program. Community and student volunteers will take one or two days to install all of the signs.
  11. Evaluate the Neighborhood Watch through monthly meetings of block captains, law enforcement representatives and residents. Evaluate the program on four criteria:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

Neighborhood Watch materials are typically sponsored by local law enforcement agencies. The following budget includes the costs of these materials in case the items are not provided. The metal road signs, size 12"*18" (Grade 1) are $16 each, assume 7 signs to start, adding 2 signs per year. $100 is budgeted per year, starting in year 3, for sign repair and replacement. Other materials available from the National Sheriffs Association include the informational video, "Joining Forces" ($25) and a pre-packaged Neighborhood Watch group package for 100 participants ($73). Supply costs include paper, envelopes, and stamps for flyering and mailings:

Additional reference materials on crime prevention and safety training are budgeted at $200 per year.

Possible Funding Sources:

Resources:

  1. City of Colorado Springs, Colorado
    http://www.colorado-springs.com/police/transformit/neighstart.htm

This page gives a full description on how to start a neighborhood watch program, step-by-step.

2. National Crime Prevention Council at (202) 466-6272
http://www.ncpc.org/2nwgd2.htm

The NCPC offers an on-line guide to starting and sustaining an effective Neighborhood Watch Program.

F. Crime Prevention through Infrastructure Maintenance and Code Violation Abatement

Buildings should not stay vacant – they are not safe! – Resident interview, 3/98

Public safety is more that the prevention of drugs, violent crime, and prostitution – it is the physical elements of a neighborhood that either deter criminal activity or encourage it. Residents of Emerson Park repeatedly say that they believe crime would be lower if the following were eliminated from the neighborhood:

Detailed maps showing the location and severity of these problems are presented in the land use and infrastructure chapters of the Emerson Park Data Book.

Residents believe that if these physical problems are dealt with one by one until they are eliminated that criminals will be deterred from Emerson Park. At the Neighborhood Summit in March of 1998 and at a resident meeting in July of 1998, residents expressed interest in using the people-power of Emerson Park to identify and report infrastructure problems and code violations. This program would create a Code Enforcement Task Force that would make monthly rounds of the neighborhood, in search of code and public safety violations. Teams would be made up of residents and student volunteers from the University of Illinois. Each problem would be recorded on a form with a detailed description and a photo would be taken of the site. These violations would then be reported to the East St. Louis Police Department and the Department of Regulatory Affairs (Contact Jean L. Evans, Director, 301 River Park Drive, East St. Louis, IL, 62201 at 618-482-6826). With the assistance of the police department and city and county officials, the process for correcting these violations should be expedited. If the Police Department takes over responsibility for code enforcement, a specific contact person within the department should be identified for this program. A copy of each problem report should be kept on file in the EPDC office and as the problems are eradicated the forms should be posted on a bulletin board as "successes".

Model Program:

This program is based on the Enhanced Code Enforcement Team effort conducted by the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, Virginia. This program is an interagency coalition for drug and violence prevention that emphasizes community involvement. The team observed 3,132 code violations, and corrections were eventually made on 1,520. In addition, 371 court actions were filed against property owners who failed to correct violations, and 24 structures were demolished between July 1991 and December 1993. This coalition successfully combines law enforcement, with the enforcement of safe, public infrastructure as a means of drug and violence prevention. The main goals are to reduce the environmental factors that contribute to illegal activity such as unsafe, deteriorated and vacant buildings; health and fire hazards; and the illegal use of land and structures. The main difference in the Emerson Park program would be the inclusion of residents and student volunteers in the code violation identification process. The Emerson Park program also builds on the heroic efforts of the East St. Louis Community Action Network and the Neighborhood Law Office whose Code Enforcement 2000 campaign is making tremendous strides at identifying violations city-wide and forcing officials to be accountable.

Implementation Time Line: Year 2 - 3

The Crime Prevention through Infrastructure Maintenance and Code Violation Abatement program should be started in the first year of the Revitalization Plan’s implementation, after the Neighborhood Watch Program and the Expanded "Red-Letter" programs are underway.

Action Steps:

  1. Flyer for an upcoming neighborhood group meeting where crime prevention through infrastructure maintenance will be discussed. Invite the media to attend the meeting, stressing that Emerson Park is standing up against public safety problems. Invite representatives from the Police Department, the Planning Commission, the Public Works Department, the East St. Louis Community Action Network and the Department of Regulatory Affairs to gain their involvement in the program and get a commitment of fast response from them.
  2. Discuss the program at a community meeting. Identify how the program works, ask residents to identify problem areas that come to mind that are not yet documented, and recruit a group of residents to create a Code Enforcement Task Force and establish a hiring committee to assist in hiring a code enforcement officer for the Emerson Park Development Corporation (See Alternative 1 under Costs).
  3. Extend a formal invitation to all residents to encourage participation. Contact as many resident volunteers as possible. If enough volunteers are assembled, each person would only have to do assessments once a month, ideally within their own immediate area of residence (approximately 2-3 blocks).
  4. Train resident volunteers to identify code violations and infrastructure problems. A Code Enforcement Officer will be hired by EPDC and would give a short presentation to the group regarding what constitutes a code violation, and how to identify them. Recording forms could be distributed and the group can conduct a trial run.
  5. The program relies on residents to report code violations and infrastructure problems as they do illegal activity on the "red-letter" forms. An example form is included in the Appendix.

  6. Regularly submit forms to appropriate governmental units. The forms are turned in anonymously to a box at Lessie Bates Davis. The form should be photocopied twice, and sent to the U.S. States Attorney (administer the "red-letter" program), to the East St. Louis Office of Regulatory Affairs, and one copy should be kept on file. Photos of each public safety threat should be posted at the EPDC office.
  7. Continually recruit residents to report public safety threats and have resident experts at the program train new volunteers. Follow up on lapse problem reports by lobbying local government to act on safety issues by attending City Council and Plan Commission meetings.
  8. Recognize resident volunteers who have successfully identified, reported, and eliminated safety problems in Emerson Park.
  9. Update the neighborhood group on the program’s status at monthly meetings and through a newsletter. Invite representatives from Regulatory Affairs and the Police Department to monthly meetings to discuss problem abatements and how residents can more effectively report problems.
  10. Celebrate neighborhood success when crime is reduced because residents brought the problems to the attention of local officials and took action to get the problems solved. Contact local media and city-wide groups to help the neighborhood celebrate success and expand the program.
  11. Evaluate the program’s effectiveness on three criteria:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

This program is supported by resident and student volunteers who serve as problem recorders. An alternative to having this program be volunteer led is to employ a code enforcement officer in the first year and add a minimum of three local youth in year three to serve as Code Enforcement Officers. These youth officials would receive training from the EPDC Code Enforcement Officer and work approximately 10-15 hours per week. Three could be hired per year at $6.00 per hour and could work after school, on weekends, and during the summer months (32 weeks total). As the program expands, these youth could also receive training in civic leadership and tactful community relations so that they too can lobby local officials to abate the safety problems they are reporting. The youth officials will be able to spread the word about the program, record all problem areas, follow-up on abatement, receive training applicable to future job opportunities, and earn some income.

Supply costs include paper (6 reams at $3.00 per ream), training materials and postage for 200 letters per year (200*$0.32). A special event to celebrate the program’s success could be scheduled one or two years after the program beings. Estimate $150 to purchase food and other items for this neighborhood event.

Possible Funding Sources:

G. Police Sub-Station

East St. Louis has one of the highest crime rates in the state of Illinois. The high crime discourages people from moving into the neighborhood and discourages local lenders from investing in the neighborhood. The 1997 Crime Index for East St. Louis showed a 5.3% increase in crimes from 1996. Of those crimes included in the Index, motor vehicle theft and murder increased most dramatically. Between 1996 and 1997, vehicle theft increased by an astounding 38%, while murder increased by 25%. On a more positive note, arson and burglary decreased by 2.9% and 13% respectively. On a neighborhood level, Central City Homes, located on Bowman, between 13th and 15th Streets, is a serious area for concern. Six fights were reported in the area during the fourth quarter of 1997, along with one aggravated assault and one death. These numbers only account for reported 911 calls to the East St. Louis Police Department. According to residents of Central City Homes, several other violent crimes took place in this area and went unreported.

Many residents and law enforcement experts believe that these crimes can be greatly reduced by placing police officers in the neighborhoods they serve. By creating a "home-base" for police officers, drug dealers, violent criminals and prostitutes may be less likely to come out and risk being caught by a police officer that is just down the street. A police sub-station in Emerson Park would create a physical, visible police presence in the neighborhood. This strategy would put the police into the neighborhood, improving community – police relationships and facilitating interaction between residents and the men and women protecting their streets. The police substation would serve as a constant reminder to criminals and would-be criminals that law enforcement is just down the block. The concept of police sub-stations promotes the City of East St. Louis’s goal of community policing.

The police substation would be staffed 24-hours per day and would consist of a small office, telephone, desk and possibly a computer. Possible locations for the police sub-station are Central City Homes, 9th & Exchange, and 15th & Exchange. The police office spends the majority of the day responding to anonymous phone calls and walking the neighborhood, keeping it safe. Three policemen would be hired by EPDC to man the substation at an estimated cost of $102,000 per year.

Implementation Timeline: Year 1-2

Action Steps:

  1. Organize a meeting between the City of East St. Louis Police Department and the EPDC. At the meeting present all the reasons why a police sub-station would benefit Emerson Park. Secure their commitment to providing an officer to a location in the neighborhood 24-hours per day. EPDC will try to raise the funding to pay the salaries of the assigned officers.
  2. Make a list of possible locations for a police sub-station. Ideally, the office would be located in a building presently used for another community purpose so that rent can be absorbed by the primary organization. Look at all the options that fall into this category before exploring new locations.
  3. Select an office for the police officer and have the location approved by the Police Department. The location must be in a highly visible, central location in Emerson Park.
  4. At a regular monthly meeting, inform all residents of the new resource in the neighborhood, distribute a toll-free number for contacting the sub-station and let residents know that the officers will be walking around the neighborhood day and night.
  5. Set up the office with a used desk, chair, lamp, mini-fridge, telephone, and other office items.
  6. Evaluate the success of the sub-station on the following criteria:

Participating Organizations:

Costs:

The cost of opening a police sub-station is minimal if the office space is part of a building already used by an organization that is willing share a portion of the space. Other costs include the officer’s salaries, office furniture and a telephone. The following budget is made at maximum cost – if office space had to rented, utilities paid and new office equipment was purchased.

Possible Funding Sources:

Current Programs Offered by the East St. Louis Police Department, Office of Community Programs

  1. Beat Auto Theft (BAT) – Participants are sent a reflective BAT decal to be placed in the rear windshield of the car. If the police observe the vehicle being driven between the hours of 1:00a.m. and 5:00 a.m., they have permission from the owner to stop the car to determine if the drive is the owner or have the owner’s permission to drive the vehicle. Contact Asst. Chief Pleas Griffin at (618) 482-6742.
  2. Cellular Patrol Program – Residents can use donated cellular phones with a direct line to the police department to report crimes as they see them happening. Contact Francella Jackson at (618) 482-6789.
  3. Community Oriented Policing – Through community meetings, foot and bicycle patrols, citizen surveys, analysis of citizen’s complaints and conversations with residents, officers learn what issues concern neighborhood residents most. Contact Capt. Lionel Settles at (618) 482-8515.
  4. Citizen’s Police Academy – An eight to ten week course designed to train residents in all aspects of law enforcement. Contact Lt. Lenzie Stewart at (618) 482-6697.
  5. Ride Along Meeting – This is a community oriented policing program in which members of any neighborhood based organization may ride along with one of the COP officers while patrolling their neighborhood. Contact Sgt. Bobby Cole at (618) 482-6663.
  6. Weed and Seed – This program’s two-pronged strategy attempts to "weed-out" violent offenders through intensive law enforcement and prosecution and then "seed" the neighborhood with prevention intervention treatment and revitalization services. Contact Francella Jackson at (618) 482-6789.
  7. Explorer Post 411 – This program allows young men and women, between the ages of 14 and 21, the opportunity to explore and learn about careers in the criminal justice system, while serving as volunteers within the police department. Contact Det. Desmond Williams at (618) 482-6733.
  8. Safe Havens – These are places where children and youth services are coordinated in highly visible, accessible facilities that are secure from crime and illegal drug activity. Lessie Bates Davis in Emerson Park is a Safe Haven. Contact Francella Jackson at (618) 482-6789.
  9. Chat-n-Chew – This is a part of the Safe Havens program that involves police officers visiting the sites and talking with youth about crime and drugs. Contact Francella Jackson at (618) 482-6789.
  10. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) – This is a 17-week curriculum taught to fifth graders by specially trained uniformed police officers. Contact Lt. Lenzie Stewart at (618) 482-6697.
  11. D.E.L.T.A. – The highly visible narcotics unit enforces drug laws and are responsible for all high risk entries made at locations where illicit drugs are sold. Contact Capt. Alonzo Perrin at (618) 482-6623.
  12. Truancy Program – Contact Of. August Manso at (618) 583-8405.
  13. East St. Louis Summer Youth Camp – Youth between the ages of 9 and 14 spend two weeks during the summer interacting with police officers and other role models. Contact Lt. Lenzie Stewart at (618) 482-6697.
  14. School Resource Officer – Several police officers specializing in COP and the D.A.R.E. programs are placed in middle and high schools to as a liaison between the school officials, youth and law enforcement. Contact Sgt. Aubrey Keller at (618) 482-8515.

Document author(s) : Cathy Klump
Last modified: 27 September 1999, Deanna Koenigs